Jane Lynch: Glee’s Sue is a Mother!
By: Lynn Barker
You might have already heard that “love-2-hate-her” coach Sue on TV’s “Glee” is going to have a baby! We’re not just talking about that. Wonderful actress Jane Lynch also plays a kindly Catholic Mother Superior and head of an orphanage in peril in the slapstick, comic PG-rated, romp movie The Three Stooges.
Curly (Will Sasso), Larry (Sean Hayes) and Moe (Chris Diamantopolous) later known as the bumbling but kind-hearted stooges, are dropped off at the orphanage as babies and stay there into adulthood until they have to face the outside world when the future of their safe haven is threatened.
So was it fun for surly “Coach Sue” to play a kind and supportive nun? We’re on the cell with Jane for the answers.
Kidzworld: Was it fun to play a character that is so opposite from Sue Sylvester?
- Jane: It was great. It was great to be the central force… well, not the center. Of course I see myself as being the center of everything [she laughs] but to be the person who actually cares about the boys (the stooges). It was really a nice to just be and to let everybody else have their wackiness. It was all scripted and she didn’t have any snarky things to say.
Kidzworld: I understand you shot in Atlanta in the summer in a traditional nun’s habit. What were you thinking? Did you really pull that skirt up and flap it for some air?
- Jane: [laughs] Yeah. It was about a hundred degrees or at least in the 90’s. We were at this dusty old building in the middle of nowhere with this dusty road led up to it. Mostly the crew suffered but the poor guys playing the stooges in their wool jackets running around had people assigned to them just to wipe the sweat off. We kind of knew that would be the deal working in Atlanta in the summer.
Kidzworld: Were you familiar with the original Three Stooges’ movies? (Short films way back in the 1930’s,’40’s and ‘50’s).
- Jane: Yes. I saw them on T.V. as a kid. I loved them. It introduced me to pratfalls and slapstick and physical comedy. Any chance I get now to run into a wall, I always take it!
Kidzworld: Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson also plays a nun. How was working with her? Did she break into song on set?
- Jane: No. She’s not one to do that. She’s just lovely and very sweet and she sang “This Little Light of Mine” with the Stooges and I thought that was just beautiful. She’s very giving and wonderful.
Kidzworld: I don’t think you went to Catholic school so what was your basis for your Mother Superior character?
- Jane: Well, as soon as I put on the habit and the cowl and the wimple, I felt like the Mother Superior in The Sound of Music (played by Peggy Wood) which is one of my favorite movies so I kind of went from that. All good things flowed from that. I started to move like her and she sang “Climb Every Mountain” so I kind of fancied myself a version of her without busting into song.
Kidzworld: You are a comedy pro so did Sean, Will and Chris (Stooges actors) ever manage to crack you up on camera?
- Jane: Not so much while the camera was on me or them but they made me laugh internally a lot. I was in awe of their mastery. They were so good and Larry David (playing a female Sister Mary Mengele) as well. He was just fearless.
Kidzworld: The Hunger Games is partially about a reality TV show in which kids kill each other and there are new reality shows popping up all the time. In “Stooges”, a reality show kind of saves the orphanage. How does Jane really feel about reality shows?
- Jane: There are so many cable channels now and it’s much easier to throw some contrived real life up there than to actually try to script content. I don’t lose sleep over it. I think there’s more of a demand now. I like shows like the one on the Food Channel where they take over a restaurant and the one on HGTV where they make a house better. Those are constructive, not the worst sides of people.
Kidzworld: Agreed. What can we expect from Sue starting April 10th on the new “Glee” season? She’s pregnant or is she just faking that?
- Jane: Oh no. She’s pregnant. We will find out who the daddy is. I don’t know yet and I don’t think the writers even know yet. I think there are a few possibilities.
Kidzworld: Do the fans have to worry that Sue will be softer now or will she keep the zingers coming?
- Jane: What I’m finding out is that even if she gets a little softer, she’s still launching arrows and zingers. She’s not changing her stripes completely. I’ve always said that if you are an enemy of Sue Sylvester, there is no worse enemy but if she’s your advocate, you have no better advocate. It’s really fun. I’m getting to do some great things.
Kidzworld: Any more plans to voice animated characters (She did Rio and Shrek Forever After)?
- Jane: Yes! I’m doing a Pixar film right now called Wreck It Ralph. It’s a videogame world and I play a sergeant (Calhoun) in an army game. I’ve always loved doing voice over work. I did it for many years to make my living before I started getting acting work. I love doing animation.
Kidzworld: Would you want to host another awards show? (She hosted the Emmys).
- Jane: It was very stressful. So now, I’ve done one and I can just say that I’ve done one (laughs).
Kidzworld: What’s next for you in addition to Wreck it Ralph and “Glee”?
- Jane: I just flew in today from Atlanta where I did a (comedy) movie called Adult Children of Divorce or ACOD with Adam Scott and Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara (and Jessica Alba, Amy Poehlar). I play an academic psychologist who wrote a book on children of divorce and Adam’s character was profiled in it in his childhood and he comes back to me to try to put the pieces of his childhood together.
Kidzworld: Sounds like it could be really funny. Why will kids and teens have a blast seeing The Three Stooges?
- Jane: It’s slapstick and kids love it. They were laughing the loudest in the theater and I think they are going to just adore it.
Kidzworld: At the end, they have guys playing the directors showing us fake prop hammers and mallets and saying basically “don’t do this at home”. (Hit people like the Stooges do).
- Jane: Yes! That was very funny and a good idea not to do that!